~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spike ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It had taken Willow a little over an hour to pack everything she wanted to take with her from the dorm
room she had shared with Tara. Spike had been a little wary of going there, but had been pleasantly surprised when there were
no hysterics. A single tear had escaped as she shoved the pillows from their bed into a garbage bag, and there were a few
sighs to go along with her pained expression, but it was nothing like what he had feared would happen when the redhead was
confronted with her old room.
Now the blonde vampire found himself weighed down with his every material possession as he followed
Willow through her front door. The witch was carrying as many of her bags from their trip as she could manage. Gunn and Angel
had followed them from the dorm and were loading down their arms with boxes and bags from her room as Willow unlocked her
Willow set her things down just inside the door and began moving from room to room casting spells on
the windows to ensure that no sunlight coming in would harm her houseguests. Spike moved his bags into the living room before
going back and gathering Willow’s things to take up to her room. When he saw the other two men moving toward the house,
he stopped to watch.
Gunn walked through the front door. "What are you lookin’ at?"
Spike just grinned and tipped his head to the side as Angel attempted to step over the threshold. The
grin was shattered by a shout of laughter when Angel slammed into the invisible barrier of Willow’s open door.
"Spike," Willow swatted his arm as she moved past him. "Come in, Angel."
Spike snickered as he moved up the stairs, only to groan when he realized the others were following
him. He really did not want to deal with his sire’s overprotective impulses and the lecture that he knew was coming,
but he was unable to see a way around it. He knew there was no way in hell he would ever hurt his Red, and she obviously trusted
him with her life, but Angel and Gunn were bound to close their eyes to that reasoning.
Spike led the way into Willow’s parents’ old room. Willow had taken it over the month before,
repainting and refurnishing it in the way she wanted. A king sized mahogany sleigh bed dominated the center of the room, its
thick mattress beckoned to Spike, and he fought the urge to sink into the mound of pillows. Instead, he placed the bags he
carried on the bed and began putting the clothing in the drawers of one of the dressers and hanging her dresses and skirts
in the closet.
"What are you doing?" Angel’s voice was hard as he spoke from just inside the door.
"Putting Red’s clothes away, you ponce. What does it look like I’m doing?"
Gunn set the boxes he had hauled up the stairs down and glanced at Angel. "Can’t I just stake
"Not yet, Gunn." The corner of Angel’s mouth quirked up. "I want to know what’s really
going on between him and Willow."
"Nothing," Spike sighed and turned to face his sire after hanging the last of the garment bags in the
closet. "I’m in love with the girl, but the breakup between her and her witch is too fresh for her to love me back."
"That’s bull and you *know* it, Spike." The barest shadow of ridges slid over Angel’s
face as he moved further into the room. "I want to know what you’re really up to, what you’re trying to use that
innocent girl for, now boy."
"Don’t," Spike’s voice was a deep growl as he instinctively slid into an attack stance.
"Don’t go talkin’ like we’re mates. We haven’t known each other for eighty years.
"You may have sired me, but I’m no one’s boy. *I* am William the Bloody. *I*
am the Slayer of Slayers! *I AM SPIKE!*"
"Spike?" Willow’s soft voice slid over Spike’s nerves, smoothing the frazzled ends and
eased the tension from his body.
"Thanks for putting everything away. You didn’t have to do that."
Spike shrugged. "You were busy."
Willow turned her attention to the other two men in the room. "Angel? Gunn?"
Two sets of eyebrows raised in question.
"If you’re going to threaten and belittle Spike, and generally act like immature idiots, then
you can just leave. I don’t know Gunn at all, and I’ve never been all that comfortable around you, Angel. Spike’s
the only person in this room that I trust."
"Red-" Gunn got no further than that before Willow interrupted him.
"I’m Willow to you. Only Spike calls me Red."
Gunn sighed. "Willow, then. How can you say you trust this vampire more than you trust me or Angel?"
"For one, he doesn’t treat me like an invalid because I’m not a vampire or a slayer or
a man. He has always just been Spike. Even when he first came to Sunnydale, he was pretty much on the level with the whole
killing off one of the slayer’s friends and using their bones to bash her head in thing. You pretty much always know
where he’s coming from, even when he’s being a jerk to make himself feel better."
"You just said yourself that he’s tried to kill you!" Gunn clearly wasn’t getting the point.
"He’s not the only person in the room who’s threatened to take a bite out of me." Willow
let her eyes stray to the dark, now brooding, vampire before turning back to Spike. "I’ve got popcorn in the microwave
and ‘The Lost Boys’ is coming on cable in about five minutes."
"Movie time it is then." Spike rubbed his hands together before slinging an arm over Willow’s
shoulders and leading her from the room.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Willow ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Willow slid into wakefulness with a sigh of contentment on her lips. The now familiar weight of Spike’s
muscled arm lay across her back and held her in place. She had come to lie directly atop the vampire while she slept, not
sure if she had moved herself to that position or if she had been put there. Her head rested just under Spike’s chin,
her cheek pressed to his well-defined chest. The tight muscles of his stomach and the slim line of his hips served as her
mattress. Willow stretch her boxer clad legs and smiled as they rubbed against Spike’s jean covered ones. The soft,
downy duvet of comfort settled over Willow as she snuggled into the cool skin of her vampire pillow.
*Why do I feel this way?* The thought wormed past the layers of peace in which Willow had wrapped
herself. *It took a LOT longer for me to be this at ease around either Oz or Tara.*
She managed to untangle herself from Spike’s sleep-heavy body and slid from the bed. After all,
it was past eleven in the morning, and there was no point in lying about in bed when no hope of falling back asleep was in
sight. The thoughts continued to plague her as she moved around the room gathering clothes to wear after her shower.
How could she feel like this around Spike so soon when it had taken months for her to reach the same
point with *both* Oz and Tara? It hadn’t even been two full weeks since Tara left her, and Willow no longer felt
a stabbing pain in her heart when she thought of the other witch. Were the bittersweet feelings and dull ache a sign that
she was moving on, or was she in danger of Spike being her rebound guy? Was she using him without meaning to? She had come
to believe his words of love, and now worried that she was doing him damage by taking comfort in his arms, even if it never
became anything more than snuggling.
Willow found her comb and slipped into the bathroom attached to her new bedroom. Turning the faucet
on in the shower, she gathered the towels she would need and arranged her clothes as she waited for the water to heat.
Maybe she *should* ask Spike to leave. If she didn’t love him, she wasn’t going
to be having any kind of sex with him. She just didn’t work that way. The thought of sending him away, of never feeling
his arms wrapped around her as she slept or the way he would throw an arm over her shoulder as they walked in an unspoken
sign of possession, made her chest ache. He would still be around, there was no doubt of that, but civility would be asking
too much of him, and friendship would be completely out of the question.
Deciding that she wouldn’t be asking him to go away any time soon, and telling her brain to shut
up before it made her question herself any longer, Willow shed her night clothes and stepped under the spray of the shower.
It only took a moment for the steam to clear the morning fog from her mind, and she hummed softly as she began wetting her
hair. The hum turned into a lilting song as she rinsed out the shampoo and smoothed the conditioner through the thick waves,
happy that her hair had developed some body as she aged.
"Over in Killarney, many years ago," Willow left the conditioner to soak into her hair and turner her
attention to lathering her skin with the honey and lavender scented shower gel as she sang the song her grandmother had taught
her before she died. "Me mother sang this song to me in tones so sweet and low."
"Just a simple little ditty, in her good old Irish way," she lapsed back into humming as she slid the
soapy sponge over her stomach.
*What would being with Spike be like?* The question came unbidden, and Willow groaned as she
realized she was thinking unsettling thoughts while trying to relax and enjoy her shower. She was certain the he would love
her. If the man could spend over one hundred years doting on an insane vampiress who treated him worse than dirt and took
every opportunity to cheat on him, then he could certainly spend just as long- or longer- loving Willow, who was far more
loyal than that. The thought that, should she fall in love with the impulsive blonde vampire, she would eventually be turned
was too big to focus on before she had eaten breakfast, so it was ignored.
The image of Spike’s pale, muscled chest floated into mind as Willow’s sponge caressed
the fairy inked into her hip. The memory of her waking soon chased his chest from her thoughts with the image of Spike’s
toned arms. Some trick of timing brought an imagining of his long, sure hands to the fore just as the soapy sponge slid over
the cinnamon curls at the apex of her thighs.
A shaky gasp escaped her in surprise. Since becoming physical with Tara, Willow had never felt the
need to pleasure herself. The blonde witch was far from shy within the confines of their room, and had always taken great
delight in bringing Willow to orgasm as many times as the redhead could handle.
Willow was so lost in thoughts of Spike’s pale, sure hands that the sponge went unnoticed as
it fell to the bottom of the tub. She leaned against the wall and moved her left hand down to slide over her thick folds.
The image of Spike’s smirking face stayed with Willow as she gave her clit a tentative flick.
A loud knock on the door snapped her out of her fantasy. "Just a second!"
"Watcher called, luv." Spike’s voice strained to be heard through the door and over the din of
the shower. "Whole bloody lot of ‘em will be here soon."
"What’s wrong?" Willow ducked back under the spray and rinsed her hair, the concern for her friends
doing away with the erotic haze.
"Somethin’ ‘bout the shop being attacked. Said everyone was fine, but we need to have a
"I’m coming." Running a towel over her body, Willow was dressed and out of the bathroom in less
than five minutes. Using the fluffy towel to wring out her hair, she moved back into her room to find a shirtless Spike just
finishing making the bed.
"Need help, luv?" It took Willow a heartbeat to realize that it was Spike, not herself, who had spoken.
Willow drew a wide-toothed comb through her hair as her eyes slid over the half nude body in front
of her. "With what?"
Spike turned to face her as he slid a tight Sex Pistols shirt that she had bought him on their trip
over his head. The movement gave Willow a perfect view of his chest and abdomen as he stretched his arms over his head and
arched his back. The top button of his jeans was open, and Willow blushed a light pink when she caught her eyes straying to
the flesh it revealed.
"Used to do Dru’s hair."
His voice startled her, and she found herself blinking twice. "I can handle it."
"Oh," Spike looked away.
"You should button your jeans."
Spike chuckled softly. "Used to sleep in nothin’ till you started sharing my bed."
"Technically," Willow fought the blush that threatened to slide over her skin in a crimson wave. "You’re
sharing *my* bed."
Spike only nodded as he fastened his jeans. Hands patted his pockets before he sighed and stuffed his
fists in them. Wriggling toes drew Willow’s attention to his pale, bare feet.
Bringing the comb up to her hair, Willow caught Spike watching its movement. "Do you *want*
to mess with my hair?"
Spike’s only answer was to lift one shoulder in a shrug, and Willow had her answer. Xander and
Jessie used to give her that same motion when they were trying to say yes without looking too much like a ‘sissy’
in front of anyone.
"Well, if you want too, you can."
The smile he fixed on her was more bright and open than anything she had ever seen on him. It caused
that familiar ache to return to the pit of her stomach and a soft sigh to catch on her lips.
*Oh, Goddess... I want Spike. But, do I LOVE him?*
~~~~~~~~~~~ Spike ~~~~~~~~~
Willow insisted on making sure Angel was awake before she would let Spike touch her hair, so he leaned
against the wall beside her door and watched as she moved down the hall. Raising a delicate hand, she rapped so lightly on
the wood of the door that Spike doubted even the elder vampire’s advanced hearing was able to pick it out from the usual
sounds of a house in mid afternoon. Willow waited a moment before knocking a second time, slightly more audibly.
"Angel?" Her voice was gentle, and Spike found himself growling. Why should his broody ponce of a sire
get to hear the caring softness of her voice as he woke?
Stomping down the carpeted floor of the hall was made considerably less noisy and dramatic - and, therefore,
severely lacking - by the absence of his usual heavy boots. Bare feet just didn’t hold any menace. Deciding to ignore
that, as no one but Red could see him at the moment, Spike stopped at her side. Moving her gently to the left, he hammered
on the door with the side of his fist.
"Oi! Peaches!" Another round of pounding followed his shout. "Get the bloody sodding *hell* out of
"What do you *want*, Spike?" Angel, shirtless and sleep-eyed, answered the door before Spike
"Gang’s on its way." Spike lit another cigarette, being sure to blow his exhalation into the
other vampire’s face. "If I have to put up with the slayer, so do you."
Angel looked past Spike to Willow. "I’ll be down in five."
A deep growl slid from Spike as Angel shut the door in his face. He knew that Angel had the memories
of their time terrorizing Europe together, but that’s where any sirely feelings seemed to end. Why couldn’t the
older vampire just treat him with some kind of respect? He knew Angel would never show him the affection of a true sire to
his childe, but to be held in no higher regard than a roach crushed under a boot was nearly more than Spike could stand.
"Spike?" Willow’s voice held understanding as it broke through the haze of his anger.
Spike sighed. "Yeah, luv?"
There was something in the girl’s eyes that spoke of other things as she replied. "Do you think
you can make my hair half as pretty as you made Dru’s?"
Spike grinned, the pain of abandonment diminishing under Willow’s soft smile and uncertain eyes.
"Your hair is as pretty now, without doing anything special to it, as Dru’s ever was after an hour of primping. *I*
can make you glorious."
Willow giggled and let Spike throw his arm around her shoulder in a now familiar gesture as they moved
back down the hall.
Spike’s sensitive ears picked up on Willow’s soft sigh as she moved, if only slightly,
closer to his side. A moment later, he found himself smiling as his arm wound its way around her waist as they crossed the
threshold of the bedroom they shared. Willow never pulled away, and he found himself wondering if it meant something more
than friendship on Willow’s part.
Spike smirked at Angel and Gunn over Willow’s head as he followed her into the living room. He
had taken his time styling his witch’s hair, loving its soft raspberry scent and the heavy waves as they slid through
his fingers. The style was old, picked to remind his sire of their days together in England and France before the curse and
Angelus had always appreciated the piles of braids and curls that called attention to swan like necks
and the shoulders that ball gowns habitually left bare. There had been many nights that a victim was chosen simply for wearing
her hair in such a fashion. Spike had never been able to tell what, exactly, Angelus saw in the style, as most of the hair
fashions of the day had left neck and shoulders bare.
Spike took in the stunned, glazed look in Angel’s eyes. There was a small twinge of jealousy
and the urge to cover Willow’s tank top before he remembered that she wanted nothing to do with the dark vampire. He
led her into the kitchen with a hand on the small of her back, grinning openly as Angel followed her with his eyes. Sometimes
being evil was just plain... Neat!
"Do I even want to know what that was all about?" Willow opened the refrigerator door, sighed, and
closed it again. "Forgot. Haven’t gone to the store yet."
"Told the watcher to bring something anyway."
"Then why are we sitting in here?"
Spike filled a glass with ice and water. "Somethin’ to drink."
"And you wanted to show off to Angel without having to stay around him."
Willow’s response was cut off by Xander’s shout of greeting.
"Have no fear; the Xan-man is here!" Xander, followed by Gunn, entered the kitchen carrying three paper
bags of groceries each.
A disheveled and dirty Anya brought up the rear. "Tell me again why we had to stop for food that we
will not be eating? I’ve been scared out of my mind; covered in half our inventory of various powders that should never
be mixed, and are really beginning to itch; and lost many many dollars. Can’t I just go home?"
"Anya?" Spike turned his attention from the bags Xander and Gunn were unpacking to watch as Willow
wrapped an arm around the ex-demon’s waist to lead her from the kitchen. "What happened?"
"I’m not supposed to talk about it," Anya had to pause as she wiped at her eyes. "Not until Giles
and Buffy get here."
Willow wrapped her arms around the other woman and held her tightly. "How about a nice hot soak in
the tub? Getting clean will help you feel better, I’m sure."
"I think I want to be close to people- close to Xander, even if he *is* being an insensitive
jerk- more than I want to be clean."
"A shower, then? It would be better than sitting around waiting for everyone to get here. I’ll
let you use whatever nice stuff you want."
Spike grinned at the cajoling Willow was doing, knowing that Anya would never be able to pass up the
opportunity to go through another woman’s things.
"Apple?" Anya looked at Willow from under long lashes.
"Sure," Willow’s voice floated back to Spike from the hall where she was leading Anya up to her
"Get anything for breakfast?" Spike rummaged through a bag that sat waiting to be emptied.
"Buffy is stopping by Willy’s place to talk to him and get some blood for you and Dead Boy."
Spike shook his head and snorted in contempt. Was this whelp of a moron really so blinded by his feelings
toward vampires that he couldn’t see that he and the Pouf were there to help? Spike could understand the ill will and
general hate directed at Angel- the older vampire *was* a monumental jerk of a gel-haired nancy boy, after all–
but didn’t see why the animosity extended to himself.
Sure, Spike had terrorized, tortured, or simply attempted to kill every one of the Sunnydale crew at
one time or another, but it hadn’t started out as anything personal. He was a master vampire, after all, and that title
came with certain expectations and responsibilities, among which was attempting to kill slayers.
The fact that there were family and friends involved with this slayer had complicated things a bit,
and he blamed these complications for his initial failures in beating her. The addition of his very *sire* in her little
group was what really did him in. He fully believed that he, the student, had surpassed his sire, the teacher, but it didn’t
change the fact that the older vampire had been his mentor and main influence for sixty years. Even though he had learned
from many others over the years of their separation from one another and had killed a slayer during that time apart, Angel
knew enough about him to throw some major wrenches into his best laid plans.
Spike shook the unwelcome thoughts from his mind, disappointed to find that the melancholy refused
to be ejected along with them. He sighed, deciding that he would go and find his witch. After all, what better way to take
his mind off of his abject humiliation at the hands of the slayer and her pet vampire than to drown the feelings in the all-consuming
pleasure of being in the company of Willow?
"Spike?" The occupier of his thoughts stepped lightly down the stairs and moved into the kitchen as
she spoke. "Did they bring anything for you?"
"Slayer’s getting it."
"Ah," Willow gave an exaggerated nod. "Time to beat up on Willy."
Spike grinned as Willow put away the last of the food, quickly snatching the eggs and cheese from her
hands. The girl loved plain cheese omelets, and today was as good a day as any to make her one. Besides, he could hear Angel
moving toward the kitchen with the Fred girl- probably annoyed at being ignored- and wanted him to see what he was like with
Willow. Maybe Angel would eventually leave him alone if he could prove that his feelings for Willow were real through actions.
Willow filled the tea kettle and put it on to warm up as Spike beat the eggs into submission and added
the bits of cheese. Without getting in each other’s way, they moved about the kitchen putting on coffee and making toast
that was slathered with generous gobs of strawberry jam. Spike was sitting a large omelet with two slices of toast with jam
in front of Willow when the front door was unceremoniously shoved open to admit a huffing slayer and a grimy watcher.
"Well, aside from finding enough blood to keep Angel and Spike healthy for a week, that was a monumental
waste of time." Giles slumped into a chair and smiled his thanks as Willow poured him a cup of tea. Sliding his glasses from
his face, he huffed and shrugged before putting them back on his nose, cracked lens and all. "I do wish I had something more
Willow hopped up from the table and moved to the cabinet that sat against a wall. "Scotch? Rum?"
"Scotch for me, please." Anya, scrubbed pink and wearing one of Willow’s more simple sundresses,
walked into the room and joined them at the table. Grinning, she accepted the cup of tea from Spike and added a little more
scotch to hers than Giles had added to his own.
"Um, An-" Xander was cut off before he could finish his thought.
"Shut up, Xander Harris." Anya sipped her tea and settled back into her chair. "I’m not happy
Spike, having put up with his curiosity needling him since Anya had walked through the door, just had
to ask. "What did you do?"
"I’ll tell you what he did," her cup clacked loudly as it hit its saucer on the table. "He took
forever to get to the shop after I called him, then he insisted that he not hold me like I needed him to, and then he insisted
that we go to the store and come here when all I wanted to do was go home!"
"I had to find someone to fill in for me at the site, and then the paramedics had to check you out."
Xander leaned into his upset girlfriend from his spot beside her at the table. "I wanted to make sure you were okay before
I hugged you. If you were hurt badly and I hugged you as tightly as I wanted, I could have broken something."
Anya’s face softened at Xander’s words, and Spike found himself smiling slightly. He liked
the demon girl, getting many hours of glee from her frankness and the embarrassment it tended to cause others. Xander, even
though he had always been a moron, seemed to be good for the girl, and Spike didn’t want to see her get hurt.
Anya sniffed. "What about stopping at the store?"
Xander leaned down to rummage through a bag that he had set by the chair instead of unpacking it. Pulling
a silver bag from inside, he handed it to Anya. "Hershey’s chocolate. The cookies and cream kind."
Kissing her boyfriend soundly, Anya tore into the bag. "Comfort food. I’ll forgive you; but only
if you give me lots of orgasms later."
Xander blushed, but answered anyway. "Was planning on it."
"And on that note," Buffy stood from her chair and drew attention away from the lovers’ conversation
at the far end of the table. "The news is calling it a ‘freak, localized earthquake’ that affected only the Magic
Box and the empty storefront beside it."
"Yes, even in broad daylight, this town in amazingly blind." Giles refilled his cup with both tea and
scotch before eyeing Willow’s now empty plate. "You made omelets?"
Willow giggled. "Goddess, no. You know I can’t cook. Spike made one for me."
"Spike?" Xander eyed the blonde.
"I’ve been alive for over 140 years. I’ve learned quite a bit over that time."
"Back to the important things," Willow eyed Spike, Xander, and Giles as if they had lost their minds.
"It *was* Gonolundo, right?"
"Of course," Anya shrugged. "And he was looking for you."